Patella luxation in dogs

Patella luxation is (usually) an inherited disease in which the kneecap is loose. Normally, the kneecap in the slot is placed on the femur. Sometimes in a dog it happens that the slot in the femur is too shallow and the attachment of the knee tendon is a little too far inwards; as a result, the kneecap shoots in from the slot. The kneecap can shoot away on both the inside and outside of the knee. The  patella luxation that shoots to the inside occurs mainly in small dog breeds such as the  Parson  Russel Terrier, the Jack Russell Terrier, the  Yorkshire  Terrier, the Chihuahua, the Dwarf Poodle, the Dwarf Pinscher and the Kooikershondje. Patella  luxation to the outside is not common. This form occurs in large breeds such as the  Flatcoated  Retriever and the Chow  Chow. This form occurs regularly after trauma in combination with a rotation in the femur. 

Symptoms of Patella luxation in dogs

The symptoms that occur in the dog depend on how severe the patella  luxation  is.

  • Walking with a raised leg
  • Difficulty getting up and walking.
  • Walking with O-legs and some kind of frog pass.

The cartilage can eventually become irritated  when  the kneecap slides back and forth, resulting in inflammation or even osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis then causes the dog to have even more pain in the knee joint.

Treatment of Patella luxation in dogs

Dogs where the kneecap occasionally shoots loose have a slight form of patella  luxation, these do not need to be treated.Relieving the pain and symptoms of any osteoarthritis can be treated by giving your dog joint supportive supplements such as  glucosamine  and  chondroitin. If your dog suffers from a severe form of  patella  luxation, surgery is often the only treatment possible. The veterinarian subordinates the severity of patella luxation in four degrees:

  1. The kneecap shoots back by itself when it is pushed out of the trench.
  2. When the knee is bended, the kneecap shoots out of the trench.
  3. The kneecap can be pushed back manually, but is permanently next to the trench.
  4. Both the kneecap is permanently next to the trench and can no  longer be pushed back.